South Africa: Methanol detected in blood of 21 youths at nightclub

A toxic chemical, methanol, has been identified as responsible for the deaths of 21 teenagers at a nightclub in East London, South Africa, last month, the Associated Press reported.

According to the agency, methanol was found in the blood of all the bodies found, and investigations are continuing to determine whether the levels of the chemical are a toxic form of alcohol, commonly used by industries as a solvent, pesticide or fuel source. It was enough to cause a person’s death and how they consumed it.

“Methanol was detected in all 21 people there, although there is still ongoing analysis of the levels of methanol and whether it was the ultimate cause of death,” said Lita Madiwane, deputy director of Eastern Medical Services. Cape Province at a press conference this Tuesday.

The victims were between 18 and 20 years old, and according to pictures posted on social media, the bodies were lying on the floor of the disco and none of them had obvious injuries.

Alcohol poisoning and carbon monoxide inhalation were ruled out as possible causes of death, although traces of both were found in the bodies of all victims.

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